Doomben Cup winner Kenedna is set to continue the turnaround of fortunes for mares in winter carnival stakes races when she tackles the Group Two O’Shea Stakes at Doomben.
The O’Shea Stakes (2200m) is Queensland’s oldest weight-for-age race and has been won by some of Australasia’s greats including Tulloch, Redcraze, Rough Habit, Sailor’s Guide and Balmerino.
For many decades mares had a poor record in winter feature races but in the past 10 years they have more than come into their own.
There is no better example than the O’Shea with Spring Thaw’s dead-heat win in 1991 the first in 40 years by a mare.
Another mare did not win the O’Shea until Lights of Heaven in 2012 but since then female gallopers Egg Tart (2018), Single Gaze (2017) and Quintessential (2013) have won the race.
Co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace had planned to spell Kenedna after her Doomben Cup win two weeks ago.
“However she has done well and it is a $400,000 weight for age race,” Maher said.
“And she does like Doomben.”
Kenedna has won twice and run fourth in the 2017 Queensland Oaks in three Doomben starts.
Maher is also keen to test Kenedna beyond 2000m for the first time as a guide to her spring prospects.